A research group led by Associate Professor Shinji Masuda of the Institute for Global Life Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Bio-Research Infrastructure Support Center, has discovered a new mechanism by which chlorophyll controls plant growth and nutritional response.
It is known that bacteria have a universal environmental response mechanism called austerity response that regulates the activity of gene expression and metabolism-related enzymes.In addition, recent genome analysis has revealed that the genes involved in the contractile response are conserved in the genomes of eukaryotes (organisms consisting of cells with nuclei) such as plants and animals.However, the function of austerity response in eukaryotes has not been clarified.
In this study, we investigated the austerity response in plants using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.As a result, it was found that all proteins responsible for austerity response work in chloroplasts.Since these genes are similar to those of cyanobacteria, the ancestors of chloroplasts, it is thought that they were introduced to plant cells when chloroplasts were born by endosymbiotic theory of cyanobacteria.
In addition, when a recombinant plant that causes an excessive contractile response was produced, it grew to about 1.5 times the size of the wild type under normal conditions, and the gene expression and metabolite amount of chloroplasts decreased, and chloroplasts. It was confirmed that the size of was also reduced.Recent studies have reported that plants made from chloroplasts that are low in metabolites such as starch and amino acids tend to be larger in size, so the chloroplast response in plants is that of chloroplasts. It is thought that the growth of plants is comprehensively controlled by regulating gene expression and metabolism.
It is expected that the elucidation of this control mechanism will progress, leading to the development of plants that are resistant to oligotrophic conditions.